True Detective: Night Country is messing with us in episode 3

It appears comparatively routine — some “hillbillies” scuffling in the ready room of a hospital, calling Danvers (Jodie Foster) away from an interrogation. Navarro (Kali Reis), left behind to observe the bedridden sufferer, pokes her head across the nook, craning to see the commotion. After which, behind her, the person in the hospital mattress all of the sudden sits up.

The scene is spooky sufficient by itself, an informal startle like a bag rustling in Audition. However the sound design makes it much more hair-raising: first a pant on the audio observe; now the person’s voice is totally different, gravelly and growling. “Hello, Evangeline. Your mother says hello. She’s waiting for you.” Then he factors, lies again, seizes, and codes out. True Detective is on some shit with this one.

This appears as sturdy a case for the supernatural hanging over the city of Ennis as any, in an episode littered with unreal particulars like this. Heck, even at the start of the interview, Navarro was on edge, after the sufferer muttered the spectral phrase she beforehand heard in her automotive: She’s awake. However episode 3 is additionally involved with the sensible matter at hand, the homicide of Annie Ok., giving us our greatest glimpse but on the girl and no matter occurred to her. The hour spends a whole lot of time monitoring Annie’s actions — an Ariana Grande sweatshirt marking the beginning of a relationship, blue hair dye resulting in somebody who knew about Annie and her secret scientist boyfriend, the impression she had as a midwife and the vacuum she left behind.

Finally, the most effective piece of proof to date comes out of final week’s cliffhanger, Annie’s cellphone containing the chilling closing video she recorded someplace in the ice, the screams of which play the episode out. It’s stomach-turning (Prior can’t even carry himself to observe it once more), and simply as chilling because the second between Navarro and the surviving scientist. One thing about this thriller feels past our comprehension, and paranormal explanations are more and more trying like the simplest purpose why. However there once more, episode 3 is cautious to remind us that not all is because it appears: As Danvers recounts the case that drove her and Navarro aside, we get her voice-over laid on high of a reminiscence of the pair raiding a house the final time they labored collectively. There’s a weariness to Foster’s voice right here, on all sides. She appears bored with the useless man’s excuses, of her incapacity to assist a 19-year-old lady out of an clearly unhealthy state of affairs, of her personal limitations. And as she relays the story, all the pieces went to hell there: An abusive asshole killed his 19-year-old girlfriend, “then he shot himself.”


Picture: Michele Ok. Brief/HBO

Navarro (Kali Reis) sitting with Qavvik (Joel Montgrand) in his fishing hut, telling him about her mom

Two totally different huts, two very totally different interrogations for Navarro (Kali Reis) in True Detective: Night Country episode 3.
Picture: Michele Ok. Brief/HBO

Solely that’s not what we see; proper after that line from Danvers, the person in the flashback turns, with a ghoulish look on his face, and begins whistling. It is smart that Prior isn’t getting the total story from Danvers, and in the identical approach, that the viewers isn’t getting all of the gory particulars from Night Country (but — hopefully). We will’t make sense but of Annie Ok.’s homicide, or what that damned orange is doing on the ice (and once more in the opening credit, peeled and spiraling out as “Bury a Friend” performs over flashes of vital scene-setting). One sympathizes with Navarro making an attempt to chop by Danvers’ Socratic technique — fuck your video games — and nonetheless following up on the demand: Ask the query.

On this approach, True Detective: Night Country is making a robust case for itself as the most effective season but, making the journey alongside the best way really feel simply as vital as who killed Annie, or whether or not Navarro actually noticed a person get possessed. When the present tells us to look a technique over one other, it feels price it, even when it’d appear to be a distraction from the matter — no matter matter — is at hand.

On the finish of every Night Country credit sequence, there’s a brand new picture. In episode 3, it’s a small fishing hut, remoted and lonely on the ice. What occurs there is a breakthrough for the case, positive — Navarro finds the situation of a former Tsalal researcher — nevertheless it’s extra a private breakthrough for Navarro, recounting a few of her life story for one of many few individuals she trusts, who breaks a small smile when she huffs again into the hut to satisfy his ask. The dialog she has there goes past merely the case, and Night Country is sensible to linger there. True Detective isn’t telling us all the pieces, however that doesn’t imply it’s telling us nothing.

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